We have been to Quezon City area a number of times for years without paying much attention to Mother Ignacia Avenue. That said, I had little knowledge of what exists along that avenue—until Louie brought us into this “secret” establishment at dinnertime on our fifth-year anniversary as a couple. Where? At The Vegetarian Kitchen, a house-turned-restaurant located on Mother Ignacia Street, right across St. Mary’s Academy.
Being raised in a vegetarian family, I am always in the lookout for vegetarian restaurants offering completely zero meat, not even seafood and dishes containing dairy products. According to Kiko Soliongco, son of The Vegetarian Kitchen’s owner, their menu has items for both vegetarians and vegans, as a result of suggestions raised by customers. Those with “V” at the side are vegan food, while those without are good for vegetarians. Anyway, we’re okay to try anything as long as they’re delicious and satisfying!
Review of The Vegetarian Kitchen (Mother Ignacia Avenue, Quezon City)
The vibe at The Vegetarian Kitchen was laid-back and a bit boring. Lighting was dim; no music was played in the background; and air conditioning was not sufficient. Simple yet clean and sturdy tables and seats occupied the dining area. The lack of tablecloths gave it a feel of a less than special place. Hence, I just kept reminding myself deep inside that we were here for the food, and you should be, too.
The menu is available for viewing on blackboard on the wall, so customers must either stand to read and choose which to order. I guess that staffs are asked for recommendations often, since the meatless (vegetarian) food at The Vegetarian Kitchen aren’t those that most of people in Metro Manila are familiar with.
Given that the vegetarian segment in the market remains to be small, staffs in this vegetarian restaurant must be more patient in explaining their food repeatedly or as required. On that note, I commend the friendly workers for being hospitable and helpful. Food came to our table relatively fast. Our glasses were also refilled with water whenever they were seen empty. Operations run smooth from 11AM to 3PM and from 5PM to 9PM on Tuesdays to Saturdays.
The Spinach and Cream Cheese Dumplings (PhP 160) is one of the most popular items on the menu, and it’s no surprise. Tasty spinach was layered inside an incredible crisp, fresh dumplings skin that’s baked in-house. We decided to try it with the white sauce provided on the platter and scattered in small blobs here and there. If Dad were here with us for dinner, I’m sure he would be unstoppable and he’d take them all. 🙂
Next was the Spanish Lengua (PhP 240) with cucumber salad and organic rice. The “lengua” was made from gluten, which arrived swimming in tomato and mushroom sauce sauce. Louie said it bears semblance to the non-vegetarian version. However, for how bright and colorful this dish was, I had initially dismissed it as dull but certainly not bland. (Sorry, I’ve just grown tired of eating this taste as cooked by my mom at home.) The Lengua was like classic Filipino recipe Beef Mechado—but one whose ingredients were mock meat.
Finally, we took a stab at the Rich Tomato and Malunggay Lasagna (PhP 270), which was a showstopper. Every bite of the square piece of vegetarian lasagna was heavenly. The globs of uncommonly delicious and sweet baked cheese on top was so good that you’d almost forget to notice how tender and perfect the pasta are. For the record, Louie said he would rather want to become vegetarian if food he’d be served every day are cooked like this.
Price for Value: ★★★★★
The ingredients used were of high quality, and the presentation of food looked really good. Generally, the dishes at The Vegetarian Kitchen surpass one’s typical preconceptions of vegetarian food. So stop thinking that vegetarian food equates to just salads and greens. 😛 With prices of food ranging from PhP 120 to PhP 250, you can definitely get yourself a decent vegetarian meal here.